Eating Clean in the New Year

It’s that time of year again. When we list all the changes we are going to make to “improve” ourselves.  There are many different blogs out there telling us the best way to eat, what to eat, what not to eat… and it can all be very confusing.

Clean eating encompasses the best foundation for our nutritional health by keeping our body nourished and able to repair and sustain itself in the best way.  The principles of clean eating are to put things into our body that are beneficial, and easy for our body to utilize without foreign or chemical intruders.  Virtually every disease is related to what we are eating, so by changing what we eat, we can improve our health.

These basic principals are a great starting point on the road to better health through good, CLEAN nutrition.

  1. Eat natural. This means the less processing the better; try to eat food that is closest to its natural form, in season and local if possible.
  2. Eat more plants. Fruits and vegetables provide thousands of nutrients that are synergistically available in our body because of their natural form.  Actual whole plant foods are the most beneficial for all of us because they pack the most punch nutritionally and are not processed.  Try to eat organic when possible, especially leafy greens, apples, berries and anything grown in the ground.  A whole food supplement like Juice Plus+ is a great way to bridge the gap in our daily nutrient intake.  Read the research on Juice Plus+ here.
  3. Transition to good fats. Fat is important in our diet if we are eating the right fats. Olive, perilla and avocado oil all have great health benefits, and MCT oils (coconut and palm oil, grass fed dairy) are excellent because they are easily digested and beneficial in our body.
  4. Decrease sugar intake. Americans eat way too much sugar, and much of it is hidden in our food.  Eating natural foods reduces the added sugar in our diet.  Reduce those sugary beverages and simple carbohydrates, like sweets.
  5. Change that saltshaker. High sodium consumption is largely a by-product of the processed foods consumed, as well as the sodium chloride in that standard saltshaker.  Try cooking with herbs (read my post on growing your own) and spices and use forms of salt that are beneficial.  Natural sea salt and pink Himalayan salt are excellent, beneficial forms of salt because of how our body is able to utilize them and the extra minerals they provide.
  6. Drink more water. We should all be drinking lots of purified water to help our bodies maintain the best nutrient delivery in our blood and the best digestive and detox processes.

So where to begin?  If all of these items are problems in our eating habits, pick the one thing on the list above that is the biggest offender. Make that a priority for one month. Once that is an actual good habit, pick another item on the list to incorporate.  Remember, it takes at least 21 days to establish a new habit, so allow 3-4 weeks to cement it into the routine.

Our health is the greatest gift we can give our family and ourselves.  While there are no guarantees in life, we can give ourselves the best chance at preventing health problems and illness/disease through good nutrition.

Happy New Year!